When John "JD" Richards was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2002, he was convinced the lab had made a mistake. He resented checking his blood glucose, refused to take notes in a diabetes education class, and balked at the idea of reading nutrition labels on cans and packages of food.
When JD, 58, accepted his condition, his life began to improve. "Once I got my head around the idea that I had diabetes, things turned around," he says.
He started eating better, learned about diabetes, and resumed bicycling, once a passion. Three months later, he'd lost 50 pounds, was biking 15-20 miles every day, and was able to stop taking metformin. "Little successes lined up to make one big success and a healthier lifestyle," says JD, from Seminole, Florida.
Perhaps most important, JD learned that the occasional negative feeling need not sabotage his self-care. "I've had to accept that I'm only human and that sometimes things won't go according to my plans," JD says, though he admits he still feels down sometimes about having diabetes. When such moments happen, he can look at how far he has come-and how much he truly enjoys life.